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Britain pledges to defend Sweden, Finland in event of war

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Britain has pledged to support Sweden and Finland’s armed forces in the event that they come under attack. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the two countries to sign historic declarations of security assurance on Wednesday.

In Stockholm, Mr Johnson held talks with his Swedish counterpart, Magdalena Andersson, at her official country residence Harpsund. 

Speaking at a joint press conference, Mr Johnson and Ms Andersson said the agreement “enshrines the values that both Sweden and the UK hold dear, and which we will not hesitate to defend.”

“What we are saying, emphatically, is that in the event of a disaster or the event of an attack upon Sweden, then the UK would come to the assistance of Sweden with whatever Sweden requested,” Mr Johnson said. 

The security deal will see intelligence sharing and accelerated joint military training, exercises and deployments. 

Though both European countries are part of the Joint Expeditionary Force with Britain, the security deal comes as Sweden and Finland consider joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) military alliance as Russia’s continues its onslaught in Ukraine. It is also being done despite Russia’s threats of “military and political repercussions”. 

A NATO alliance will overshadow the bilateral agreements of the Joint Expeditionary Force, as Article 5 of NATO’s charter, which considers that an attack on one member state as an attack on all.